Users of Wem and Onibury level crossings in Shropshire are invited to ‘drop-in’ to find out more about level crossing safety, following reports of misuse and concerns raised by people in the communities.

At Wem level crossing, over 1,000 reports of deliberate misuse were reported over a nine-day period. At the recently upgraded Onibury level crossing, as many as 15 incidents of misuse are recorded every day.

The drop-in events will take place in Wem on Tuesday 19 February at the Roden Suite, Edinburgh House, between 3pm and 7pm and in Onibury on Wednesday 20 February at the Village Hall between 3pm and 7pm. At the events, people will have the chance to speak to Network Rail safety teams and the British Transport Police. There will also be plenty of activities for children, including rail safety games, quizzes and story books.

Emily Coughlin, community safety manager for Network Rail in Wales and Borders, said: “It’s really important for people to understand how dangerous railway crossings can be. We are seeing drivers take risks at level crossings every day – putting themselves and others in danger. Nothing is worth risking your life over, just to save a few minutes of time.

“I would encourage anyone interested in learning more about using level crossings safely to come along to one of our drop-in events.”

While Britain has the safest rail network in Europe, level crossings are one of the biggest public safety risks, and with 1,150 level crossings, a staggering one fifth of all level crossings on the Great British rail network are in Wales and Borders. Network Rail in Wales and Borders is investing more than £14m in level crossings over the next five years, including plans to install Permanent Red Light Safety Enforcement at Onibury level crossing later this year.